The first reaction to Slipknot's new single Birth Of The Cruel

Slipknot press shot
(Image credit: Roadrunner Records)

After the anthemic burst of Unsainted and the unrelenting, riff-stacked heaviness of Solway Firth, we already know that the new Slipknot album will be running the gamut of just about everything in their arsenal. 

What, then, should we expect from Birth Of The Cruel?

Opening with a sinister, industrialised drum loop, the track quickly kicks into a guitar line that sounds like it was taken straight out of a John Carpenter soundtrack and shoved through a blender. 

And then comes that riff: a stomping, menacing, groove-heavy killer out of the Robb Flynn songbook. It's a beast, and it underpins what is essentially a slower, more brooding Slipknot song than its predecessors: packing its punches craftily compared to the bludgeoning intensity of Solway Firth; letting its hooks slither around your eardrums rather than battering them like Unsainted. It's a smartly restrained use of Slipknot's skills.

That said, when the big moments come, they come hard. The breakdown just after three minutes is one of the most simplistic and savagely heavy Slipknot have ever written, smatterings of scratches from DJ Sid Wilson helping to give it a small whiff of the psychotic, genre-mashing approach of their debut. 

Corey Taylor seems to be relishing the more measured pace of this track too, his vocals switching from sneering croon to bellowing roar with proud abandon. Here he sounds less like a man baring his tortured soul to the world and more like a maniacal conductor at the head of the world's most demented symphony. 

All in all, then, we make that three for three for the leading singles from We Are Not Your Kind. Slipknot are a band discovering a terrifying new wave of form. And we're excited.

We Are Not Your Kind will be released this Friday (August 9) via Roadrunner and is available to pre-order here

A new interview with Slipknot can be found in the new issue of Metal Hammer which is on sale now. Slipknot are the cover stars, with nine different covers to collect. The new issue also comes with an exclusive art print and a CD featuring Slipknot cover versions.

In the meantime, here's the ultimate timeline of the new album.

(Image credit: Future)
Merlin Alderslade
Executive Editor, Louder

Merlin moved into his role as Executive Editor of Louder in early 2022, following over ten years working at Metal Hammer. While there, he served as Online Editor and Deputy Editor, before being promoted to Editor in 2016. Before joining Metal Hammer, Merlin worked as Associate Editor at Terrorizer Magazine and has previously written for the likes of Classic Rock, Rock Sound, eFestivals and others. Across his career he has interviewed legends including Ozzy Osbourne, Lemmy, Metallica, Iron Maiden (including getting a trip on Ed Force One courtesy of Bruce Dickinson), Guns N' Roses, KISS, Slipknot, System Of A Down and Meat Loaf. He is also probably responsible for 90% of all nu metal-related content making it onto the site.